The Speaker
Sunday, 19 May 2024 – 19:34

How will lockdown measures be eased in Scotland?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set out a plan for the easing of Coronavirus lockdown measures in Scotland.

Speaking to Members of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon set out a ‘cautious’ plan to start reopening Scotland’s economy from 26 April. Other restrictions have already started to lift, with some school pupils entering the classroom for the first time in 2021 this week.

Ms Sturgeon said that she wanted to avoid picking ‘arbitrary dates’ for the easing of restrictions and the dates set out by the First Minister are subject to change – they may move forwards or backwards depending on Scotland’s progress in tackling COVID-19.

Here’s a look at some of the key dates set out by the First Minister for the planned easing of lockdown measures…


22 February

  • Earlier this week, early learning and primary years P1 to P3 returned across Scotland.
  • Universities in Scotland can also now deliver face-to-face teaching for no more than 5% of their students where this is critical, such as in essential practical subjects.


Around 15 March

  • School pupils in primary school years P4 to P7 could return, while some secondary pupils could also return to the classroom
  • The number of people allowed to mix outdoors will increase to four people from two households


Around 5 April

  • At this point, stay at home restrictions are expected to be lifted
  • The remaining pupils will be allowed to return to the classroom
  • Click and collect services can resume
  • Increased inter-household mixing in outdoor settings will be permitted, up to 6 people from two households


From 26 April

From this point, the Scottish Government plans to reopen different sectors of the economy in a phased fashion, including non-essential retail, leisure facilities, hospitality and close contact services. At this time, Scotland will return to a levels system of restrictions, with most areas moving to ‘Level 3’

Exactly when these type of venues will reopen remains unclear, though the First Minister has said she hopes more details can be set out in mid-March. 

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